Originally Posted by brainsalad
I had 3 3.5" Seagates, all running in fanless external cases. They all failed within the first year. I had them stacked and the cases would get blistering hot. Even the replacement/recertifed disks started to fail. I wouldn't run them without fans and I have noticed that more and more external 3.5" cases are coming with fans.
Ouch, that's not good news. Though I'd guess that if the enclosures were aluminum (like the Seagate FreeAgent Pro series), they were meant to act as heatsinks for the drives, which would prohibit stacking. I've heard other reports that the power input / USB / eSATA output sections in the bases of the Seagate drives tend to overheat themselves and/or the drives, so I guess that's another source of concern.
From what I've seen, more drives and enclosures seem to be going fanless. When I bought my Western Digital 160 gig external, fanless wasn't an option. Now their entire My Book Essentials line is fanless (and lacking power buttons
), and the fan is being marketed as a premium feature for their higher-priced My Book Premium II line-up.
I've had great luck with internal drives from both Seagate and Western Digital in the past, and an older WD external drive. I'm just hoping they aren't sacrificing quality enclosures in order to save money or purposefully limit the lifespans of their drives.